Backyard Bounty

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You don’t have to leave home to have fun with the family … just head outside!

gettin’ buggy with it

Bug-Catcher-Starter-Kit.pngYour backyard is the perfect place to begin insect exploration. With the Lil’ Adventures Bug Kit by Fisher-Price, kids can spend hours catching and studying bugs. Don’t worry about those fearful of real bugs, this kit comes complete with two plastic ones as well as a net and collection jar with a built in magnifier. We found ours at Target for $6.99. Ages 4 and older … For the real bug catchers, an old Mason jar can be just the thing. We found ours deep in our kitchen cabinet. Don’t forget to poke holes in the top so the bugs can breathe!

dig this

Ages 3 and older can make the most of their sandbox playtime with International Playthings’ SAND MILL DUMP TRUCK. Two buckets adjoin to create the mill, and with the turn of the crank, fill up the back of the truck for a hard day’s work in the sand. The set also comes with a shovel and rake. Available at Phillips Toy Mart or intplay.com for $18.99.

splash & scoop

Sand-and-Water-Transportation-Station.pngStep 2’s new SAND & WATER TRANSPORTATION STATION provides hours of fun for ages 2 and older. Two compartments in the elevated table hold sand and water, and the track around the table’s perimeter allows a three-car train to travel around and fill up at three loading stations. Other accessories include boats, funnels, a spinner and paddle wheel, a scoop and more. A nylon cover keeps the station safe from critters and the elements when not in use. Buy it for $49.99 at Target or step2.com.

how to play “mother, may I?”

Begin by designating a “Mother.” This person will change at the beginning of each game. The Mother stands by herself at one end, and all the other kids stand shoulder-to-shoulder a desired length away (usually 10 – 20 feet) facing the Mother. However far away the children are, the Mother must be able to hear them. The game begins by the first child asking the Mother if he can take a certain amount of steps. Some popular steps include Baby Steps, Scissor Steps, Jumping Jack Steps, Karate Steps or Giant Steps.

The Mother replies with “Yes, you may,” or “No, you may not.” Whether the Mother replies yes or no is completely up to her whim. However, the Mother must be impartial or the game isn’t fun for everyone. The rest of the children each asks for steps on their turn, and once all have asked, play returns to the first child and continues until a child had reached the Mother. The first child to reach the Mother wins. This child also becomes the Mother for the next game.

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